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Bruins vs. Lightning 1/9/22 PREVIEW: B’s head to Florida to face the measuring stick of the conference (again)

Last time these two teams faced, the B’s brought it to OT but couldn’t seal the deal. Can they do the deed tonight?

Tampa Bay Lightning Vs Boston Bruins At TD Garden Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Just The Facts:

The Time: 7pm EST

The Place: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

Place to Watch: NESN

Place to Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Opposing SBNation Blog: Raw Charge

Know Your Enemy:

  • After a slow start to begin the new year which included getting ragdolled by the Rangers in two back to back games, the Lightning have responded by outscoring their competition 11 to 3, one of whom was Calgary.
  • You’d think being on the wrong end of 30 would stop or even slow down Steven Stamkos, but it turns out getting to finally be a component of a Stanley Cup winning team has given this old dog some spark again; he leads the Lightning in points and goals with 41, 16 of which are goals.
  • The king of Tampa’s power play is Victor Hedman, as he as 12 points out of 36 coming on the man-advantage.
  • Nikita Kucherov has returned from injury and is once again a dominant presence in spite of having missed significant time. Again. I choose to use the medium of a Breaking Bad clip to respond to the matter.
  • Hey look it’s a Tampa Bay Lightning game and Andrei Vasilevskiy is starting 4 out of every 5 games and well over .920 SV% Wheeeeeeee

Game Preview:

To say that Boston-Minnesota was a game that generated some...talking points, is to put it very mildly. But the good news is that it’s over, and you know what? Good! That means Charlie McAvoy should be back! And it’s also good because they’re probably going to need him.

The Lightning are...well...The Lightning again. I wish so deeply that the Expansion draft and free agency cut them to ribbons, but here we are in a deeply cruel and unfair world where Florida is the nexus on which all hockey now flows through, apparently.

The Lightning aren’t quite the Juggernaut of years past thanks to some clear deficiencies in their depth and eventually Vasy giving up a real stinker every once in a while, and the Bruins were able to claw back into a competitive game with them. But the details are where it matters; the B’s can’t afford to be making the myriad defensive miscues they made last time, especially now that they have their lynchpin blueliner back, or they will get torched. They’ve gotten the secondary scoring necessary to make this competitive, but now they need to rob Tampa of these two points as quickly and painfully as they can without losing another player to injury or to COVID.

Given where they’re playing, I suggest the Bruins come to the arena in hermetically sealed hamster balls.

And before you wonder if now is the time that Tuukka Rask finally makes his season debut as Providence has gotten their most recent games postponed, don’t bother; it seems as though he’ll be practicing with them and playing his first actual AHL game on the 14th and maybe 15th. It’ll be up to Swayman/Ullmark once again.

Can the Bruins get their first W of the series over the Lightning tonight? Tune in and find out!